With one shot to the nuts, NXT exposed the business, ruining a time-tested spot and destroying a key part of wrestling’s suspension of disbelief. In case you missed the match, Johnny Gargano’s wife and NXT wrestler Candice LaRae gave him the dreaded dick punch, reducing Gargano to a quivering mass of muscle. This caused Gargano’s bestie turned mortal enemy to realize he didn’t hate him and he tried to comfort his friend. Then in one of wrestling’s most shocking twists (at least until next week), LeRae hit Ciampa with a ballbreaker, taking him out of action. Gargano reached into his trunks (no, it’s not what you’re thinking) and pulled out a protective cup, revealing he and his wife had set up Ciampa *YAWN*.
With Jim Cornette complaining about WrestleMania XXXVI’s Boneyard match and the Firefly Funhouse match, I’m waiting to see what he has to say about the “One Final Beat” between Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano as it broke one of the tropes of wrestling-that despite the fact that every professional sport has its athletes wear jockstraps, for whatever reason, the denizens of the squared circle choose not to. I have no problem with this trope any more than I do with wrestling’s other goofy situations where you suspend disbelief, ranging from assaults that would land people in prison or a wrestler’s incredible ability to absorb superhuman punishment and be back the next night with nary a bandage (for a comprehensive list, check out the always-fun website TV Tropes).
I’m surprised to see this spot on NXT which is always praised for its realistic old-school booking. I’m no NXT hater (although I find the show impossible to watch due to its bargain-basement production values that hearken back to the early days of Ring of Honor), but this spot was stupid and unnecessary. As much as the Firefly Funhouse match broke the suspension of disbelief, this cut into a wrestling fundamental. Fans who have always wondered why wrestlers don’t take an easy step to protect the family jewels now have another reason to wonder (at least the small number of fans who tune in to NXT).